Dealership statement on place to not buy gasoline / problem car

lexus

#1

My 2011 Lexus IS250 has had problems with engine lights coming on and running out of gas before the tank is empty. It has run out of gas on three different occasions. All three times the engine light had come on, but the mileage to empty was at 13, 9, and 8 miles. When I actually filled the tank the most I have been able to put in the tank was 15.2 gallons, when the manual says it holds 17.2 gallons. One time I was only able to put in 14.7 gallons,meaning the tank supposedly had 2.5 gallons of gas in the tank.

There was a check engine light on the first time for certain, but the dealership was “unable to replicate the results” and it hasn’t been fixed. It’s at the dealership now, as my local mechanic Googled the engine light code and said it was entirely fixable, but the fix was a trial and error situation,and that it might take 2-3 days to go through the entire process. His take on it was that they knew it would take a long time to fix, and since it was a warranty repair,they simply didn’t want to take the time unless I pushed the issue. So we shall see.

As for those that say I should buy gas immediately after the Low Gas light comes on,why is it every car I’ve owned in the last 15 years has NEVER run out of gas unless I am stupid enough to go past (WAY past) the amount of miles the dash says I can drive. I bought one of the supposedly most reliable cars in the world and I get anxiety whenever the damn Low Gas light comes on now and start looking for a gas station immediately. The point is, it’s never happened before with lots less expensive cars.

As far as the gasoline statement, the service consultant asked me where I bought gas. I said Costco about 80% of the time, and if I wasn’t close enough, a Kroger or Valero. He then stated that I should always buy gas at a name-brand station, i.e., Exxon,Chevron, Shell, etc. I told him this was ridiculous,as I have read several places that the gas is tested so much that buying bad gas is usually a fluke (though it did happen to me once) and you are simply paying for the name at the Big Oil company stations. Opinions?

Two other problems. The paint started to peel on the bumper and I happened to ask my local mechanic about it and he immediately said that it had been repainted and not very well at that. I then drove to a body shop guy I have known and trusted for years and he also immediately pointed out the poor job that was done. Even the service consultant, when I asked him to check it out, ran his hand on the bumper and pointed out a bump and said that it had not only been repainted, there was other repairs done.

BTW, this is a car that had a clean Car Fax and is a Certified Lexus. I am disgusted that I have bought and paid a lot of money for a Certified car,and now find it’s been repainted and wrecked ( and I don’t know to what extent), and wonder what I can do. The fuel system problems (there has been another Check Engine Light that points to an engine misfire) add to my disgust as to my situation.

Sorry for the rant but I got on a roll. Any opinions or suggestions?


#2

It sounds like maybe it is not running out of gas, but having another issue of not pulling gas from the bottom of the gas tank as it should. Couple that with evidence of a wreck and a cheap repair, all on the quiet (no record of an accident reported to get picked up by Carfax), and a dealership trying to weasle out of responsibility to fix it under warranty, and I’d look at my state’s lemon laws before deciding what to do next. Since it was a warranty purchase, not an as-is sale, there may be a legal remedy.


#3
I bought one of the supposedly most reliable cars in the world and I get anxiety whenever the damn Low Gas light comes on now and start looking for a gas station immediately.

Then the light is working as designed. I’m not saying you don’t have issues with your car, but there’s no real reason to try and get the most miles you can out of a tank of gas. Just fill up when or before the light comes on. That’s a good practice for all cars, as that “miles to empty” readout is only an estimate, and you don’t want to get caught with one that estimated optimistically.

As for the rest, I’d be telling the dealership to take the car back, and if they didn’t, I’d call Lexus corporate and tell them the dealership defrauded you by calling a poorly repaired wreck a “certified” car (and that “certified” bit meant they charged you more for the car, btw).

And if those avenues didn’t work, I’d be considering legal options.


#4

I fill my tank when the gas gauge indicates a 1/4 of a tank. I’ve used this technique on every vehicle that I have ever owned and have never run out of gas. Forget about the “Low Gas light”…it was never meant to replace the function of the gas gauge. Gas is gas unless it affects the performance of your engine. I do have favorite gas stations but I fill up at any available station while on a long road trip.


#5

You really have to change your ideas on buying gas. This is different that your other cars. Buy gas when it says ‘50 miles to empty’.

Remember the old saying ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’

As for the paint peeling on the bumper. The body shop should easily be able to see if any significant repairs were done. If it was just a replacement bumper cover with a poor paint job, that’s not a big deal.

Regarding the check engine lights, as soon as it happens get the codes read and let us know what they are. The dealer’s nuts regarding which gas to use.

I’m not seeing any major problems here, once you start gassing up earlier (at a quarter tank, say).


#6

As for a possible reason it could be mis-reading ;
Have someone check for the gas tank for obvious dents on the bottom or not-so-obvious mis-shaped tank bottom.
( Having been wrecked throws a red flag here too. Did they ever high-center that car as well ? )

If the bottom of the tank has been pushed up a tad it could easily throw off the sender and it could cause some remaining fuel to pool on a side of the tank away from the pickup.


#7

Agree with shadowfax and ken that the car was in an accident that probably damaged the tank in such a way that it holds less gas. Time to elevate to Lexus corporate.


#8

This was bought as a used car, not a new car. I don’t know why Lexus corporate would care.


#9

Technology will never trump common sense.


#10

Texases, it is a used car, but Lexus sold it as a certified car,meaning they go over a long checklist and say it’s as good as a new one. I think Lexus corporate would care very much they are selling cars that they are putting their personal stamp on as not just OK,but checked out as in very good shape and selling them, and charging them a premium for that security. Not just a normal used car with the Certified badge.


#11

Lexus doesn’t sell used cars. The dealer does.

Complain to corporate if you want, just don’t expect much.

What do you have in writing regarding a guarantee? That’s all that matters.


#12

I dunno, pulling the last pint of gas out of the tank of gas with all the possible debris and contaminants just doesn’t seem like a good idea regardless of the car involved. No to mention what would happen in an unexpected situation with 9 miles of fuel left “according to the computer”. It doesn’t cost anymore to fill up at 1/2 tank twice as often as at empty and your car might like it a lot better and save repair shop time and aggravation.

As far as the bumper paint, nothing wrong with touching up a bumper on a used car to make it look better. Bumpers get damaged very easily now but doesn’t mean it was in a major accident. Quality might be another issue but too late now. Should have been easy for potential buyers to see if it was that shoddy of a job.


#13

To me anyway, it’s ill-advised to push a car when it’s down the lower limits on gasoline. Even if 1 or 2 gallons remain, that amount will be spread out over the bottom of tank and is subject to slosh which may uncover the fuel pump pickup and then stall due to sucking air.
When the Low Fuel light illuminates that means hit a gas station soon.

As to the certified part of the sale, what does your copy of the CPO papers show about any notation on exterior paint?

There’s a lot of reasons as to how or why a car with a paint flaw could make it through a CPO inspection just like there are reasons why a car can have an unearned clean Carfax report.


#14

@texases Because golfdawg11 is mad at Lexus even though Lexus corporate didn’t do it, and he’s not the only one that will be if this dealership keeps it up.

Lexus corporate isn’t going to like some jackass local dealership damaging their reputation by faking the certification process. It says “Lexus Certified,” not “Honest Earl’s Used Car Emporium Certified.” Their reputation is on the line with that program, and they should not like dealerships screwing around with it for quick and dirty profits.

And based on the dealership trying to blame a gas station rather than do a warranty repair, I’m highly suspicious that this dealership is screwing around with people to maximize profits.


#15

Can’t hurt to complain. But I’ll be surprised if Lexus does much, there’s not much here of substance.


#16

I don’t have as much faith in “certified” as the OP does, or did when he bought the car. Certified used to me means they simply are selling a used car, one that has been titled before and driven whatever miles is on the odometer. The checklist is mostly basic stuff, that means the car was serviced and has a given amount of brake pad depth and tread on the tires. Beyond that the “certified” used car comes with a warranty. So, the real issue here the how good a warranty is it?

Perhaps having a body repair and some area of the car repainted disqualifies a car from being “certified” by some programs but not others. The OP feels the body repair means his car is substandard and should not have been “certified” in the 1st place. This is something that you can find somewhere in the fine print of the contract or the promotional materials explaining just what Lexus means by “certified”. In addition, some dealers certify their cars but don’t adhere to the manufacturers standards. So, in this case was this a Lexus factory certified used car, or that particular dealer’s certified used car? Again, the answer is in the paperwork.

I don’t think the OP is ever going to be happy with this car. He feels cheated and perhaps he was. If he can find documentation in writing that supports his belief that the previous accident and body repair and repainting disqualifies a car from being certified then the next step is a lawyer. And the lawyer takes it up with either Lexus and/or the dealer. Just what kind of “damages” has the OP suffered? He needs to put a $$$ amount on his damages and then fight for compensation on the damages.


#17

Details on your engine performance problem are needed before judgement can be placed on the top tier fuel recommendation.

There is currently a campaign to replace the pistons in 2006-2010 IS 250’s to remedy an ongoing misfire problem that is related to the direct injection/carbon build-up problem. While at this time the 2011 model year is not involed using top tier gasoline is not bad advice.

Distance-to-empty complaints are common with new owners but the question is usually “my DTE reads zero, why didn’t I run out of gas?” Technicians don’t want to waste time on these type of complaints. However on the vehicle there is a bulletin for this;

Some IS 250/350 and IS 250C/350C vehicles may exhibit a condition where the fuel gauge indicates
“Empty” even though there is fuel in the tank. Follow the procedure in this bulletin to address this
condition.

You describe having the opposite problem, running out of fuel with the gauge above “E”. Or is the gauge below empty and the low fuel warning light came on late?

As far as fill-up capacity I have filled the tanks on hundrends of these after performing recall repairs and have never seen one take more than 13-14 gallons even with the low fuel light on.

If you are running out of fuel with the gauge showing above empty, you have a legitimate problem and the first time this occurred you should have had the vehicle towed in so it could be inspected and repaired. But from your contaminated fuel post in June if your “local mechanic” caused a problem with the level units (2) inside the fuel tank while trying to replace the filter, warranty coverage may be denied. You didn’t state if you had the work done but if you did, any problems related to the repair should be the responsibility of the shop that did the repair.


#18

You are being foolish to run the tank to full empty all the time. not just because of the crud you can pick up from the bottom, but the fuel pump is cooled by the gasoline in the tank. That is the real reason the car makers have the low fuel light come on so early.


#19

Gas pumps if in tank may overheat in low fuel conditions. Pretend 1/4 is e and do not push it. It may be sediment in the tank at low fuel conditions is plugging up the in tank filter if applicable. Decreases my faith in certified for sure. Sorry for your troubles.


#20

8 miles left? I don’t care what kind of car it is, that’s REALLY pushing it. I know my car has exactly 1.5 Gallons left when the light comes on. I rarely let it get that low. Why push it? Doesn’t make sense.

As for gas quality, in my area of Minnesota, the vast majority of the gasonline you buy in the Twin Cities area, regardless of the “brand” comes from one single refinery on Highway 52. (Folks on the forum from this area knows of the one I speak of.) The only difference between the “brands” are the additives that are put in with the gas when the tanker trucks fill up. So if the dealer tried that line on me, I’d tell him to his face that he’s full of horse hocky.

As for the body damage, get a written statement from a qualified body man stating what he finds, then as others have said, read the fine print on your purchase agreement contract to see what recourse you have. As for CarFax, my wife works for the govmnt agency tasked with car titles. She gets people in her office all day waving them in her face, complaining that the accident that is on state records MUST be in error, because it “wasn’t on my Carfax report!!” “Complain to Carfax, not us!” she tells them.

Sorry about your bad luck. I sure hope you can get things worked out in your favor.